Graffiti probe uncovers more

first_imgPALMDALE – An investigation into graffiti vandalism resulted in the recovery of property stolen in several local burglaries and the arrests of six teenagers. Computers, computer monitors, a diamond ring, a pistol, and other property were found along with methamphetamine and marijuana at a west Palmdale home where three of the teens lived, deputies said. “The way this started … was a graffiti investigation with vandalism to a city vehicle. That was just the tip of the iceberg,” Palmdale Partners Against Crime unit Sgt. Kyle Bistline said. Also found was a backpack filled with spray-paint cans and paper marked with doodles similar to thousands of dollars in graffiti damage around the city, deputies said. At a west Palmdale house where three of the suspects live, deputies said they found items stolen in at least four burglaries. Arrested were Tully Huffaker, 18, and Glenn Perez on suspicion of possession of stolen property and Shea Perez, 18, on suspicion of burglary. Also arrested was Eric Montierth, 18, of Palmdale on suspicion of burglary, as well as the teen found in the car at Highland High and another teen arrested at home. Other arrests are expected, deputies said. Charles F. Bostwick, (661) 267-5742 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBlues bury Kings early with four first-period goals “It matches a lot of graffiti we’ve seen throughout Palmdale,” Bistline said. The items include two computers belonging to the Antelope Valley Union High School District and one belonging to the Palmdale School District, he said. “Some of the property’s already been returned. A lot of property here has been identified to the victims and will be returned next week,” Deputy Bob Farkas said Friday. The investigation started when graffiti was etched into windows of a Palmdale city truck. Farkas, the Palmdale graffiti investigator, obtained information about a car and juveniles believed linked to that vandalism and to other graffiti around the city. Highland High School deputy Sean Walters on Wednesday spotted the car Farkas was looking for in the school parking lot, along with one of the teens Farkas was seeking, a second juvenile and alcohol. last_img read more

Wally Hayward: going the distance

first_imgIn the course of an athletics career spanning 60 years, Wally Hayward excelled at distances ranging from 100 metres to 100 miles.He competed on the track in his early twenties, represented South Africa at the Olympic Games in the standard marathon, and set world long distance records.His defining achievements, however, were reserved for one of the greatest ultra-marathons of them all: the Comrades.One of the world’s greatest ultra-marathons, the 90-kilometre Comrades Marathon is internationally recognised both for the body-sapping challenge it poses and the camaraderie it fosters among its thousands of participants.Run between Pietermaritzburg, capital of Kwazulu-Natal province, and the coastal city of Durban, the race alternates each year between an “up run” from Durban and a “down run” from Pietermaritzburg.First Comrades victoryWally Hayward won his first Comrades Marathon in 1930, at the age of 21, in a time of 7 hours 27 minutes – then returned to racing shorter distances.Earlier in the same year, he had won the national 10-mile championship, and over the course of the next 20 years he became national champion in distances from three miles to the marathon. He was also decorated for his actions during World War Two, being made a Member of the British Empire.When Hayward returned to the Comrades in 1950 he was discounted as a serious contender because of his age – he was 41 years old. That didn’t stop him from taking the lead at halfway and going on to win in a record time of 6 hours 46 minutes – 41 minutes faster than his winning time two decades before.6-hour barrier, 24-hour recordThe following year, in his first attempt at the Comrades down run, he powered his way to a 6 hours 14 minutes victory, slashing 7 minutes and 57 seconds off Johannes Coleman’s 1939 record.Hayward missed the Comrades in 1952 when he competed for South Africa at the Helsinki Olympic Games, but returned in 1953 to become the first athlete to break the six-hour barrier, in a time of 5 hours 52 minutes.In the same year he travelled to England, where he established new records in the London to Brighton Marathon, the Bath to London 100-miler – and a 24-hour track race staged by England’s Road Runners Club at Motspur Park.Hayward’s distance for “the day race” was 256.4 kilometres, a new world best – and a mark not bettered until two decades later, when Englishman Ron Bentley managed 259.6 kilometres.Hayward followed that up in 1954 by breaking his own record for the Comrades up run with a win in 6 hours 12 minutes.Barred from racingHowever, a second visit to England that year cost him dearly when the South African Athletic and Cycling Association declared him a professional for allegedly accepting donations for expenses.The rules of the race at the time meant that Hayward – having established new records for both the up and down runs and equalled the five wins of Arthur Newton and Hardy Ballington – could no longer run the Comrades.His amateur status was only reinstated 20 years later, in 1974, by which time he professed little appetite for racing, though he attended the finish of the Comrades every year to help inspire other runners.Saving the best till lastThen, in 1988, Hayward was persuaded by friends to take part in the race once more. The country was stunned when the 79-year-old crossed the finish line in 9 hours 44 minutes, beating more than half the field.Hayward’s most dramatic moment, however, came the following year, in 1989, when he completed the down run at the age of 80. There was hardly a dry eye in the stadium as he staggered across the line in an obviously distressed state, making the 11 hours cut-off time by a mere 1 minute and 57 seconds.To this day, he remains the oldest finisher in the history of the Comrades Marathon.The Wally Hayward medalWally Hayward died in May 2006 at the age of 97. In November, the Comrades Marathon Association announced that a new medal, the Wally Hayward medal, would be presented to runners for the first time in 2007.The medals are awarded to those runners who fail to earn Comrades gold medals – awarded to the first 10 men and women finishers – but still come in under the six-hour barrier first broken by Hayward in 1953.“The late Wally Hayward was one of the greatest ever Comrades runners, with seven finishes, including five wins,” association chairman Dave Dixon said in announcing the new medal.“He had a remarkable Comrades career that spanned 60 years, and is still the oldest person ever to finish the race.“In creating this medal, the Comrades Marathon Association salutes a man who epitomized the spirit of the race and inspired thousands of men and women to run it.”Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

South Africa’s social grant clean-up saves billions

first_img7 February 2014 South Africa’s move to modernise its administration of social grants, involving the live certification and re-registration of grant beneficiaries and the introduction of a biometric card payment system, is saving the country hundreds of millions of rands annually, says South Africa Social Security Agency (Sassa) CEO Virginia Peterson. Presenting the agency’s 2012/13 annual report to the National Council of Provinces’ (NCOP’s) select committee on social services in Cape Town on Thursday, Peterson said that over 150 000 grants had been voluntarily cancelled between June 2012, when the re-registration process began, and June 2013, amounting to an annual saving of R150-million. The number of voluntary grant cancellations had since increased to 299 837, she said. Interviewed by Business Day following the NCOP briefing, Peterson said that in total more than 650 000 social grant recipients had been removed from the grants register, saving the fiscus almost R2-billion, while an additional R800-million in service fees had been saved in this financial year alone.Electronic grant payments, biometric cards Sassa’s new system aims to minimise fraudulent grant applications and collections and reduce administration costs by distributing grant payments electronically. It involves the mass collection of data of existing and new beneficiaries, children receiving grants, and procurators. The Sassa grant card’s biometric functionality identifies grant recipients using unique identifiers such as fingerprints, voice and other personal information, which means that the cards cannot be used by any person other than the approved beneficiary. “A total of 18.9-million people were successfully re-registered onto the new system by end of the financial year,” Peterson told the NCOP committee. “The number has since increased to 20.7-million.” She noted that the biometric payment cards allowed beneficiaries to access their grants through various payment gateways, including ATMs, pay point stations and retail points of sale – effectively incorporating beneficiaries, many of whom were previously “unbanked”, into the country’s banking community. At the same time, she said, the new payment system almost halved the cost to the agency of each transaction, from an average of R30 to R16.44 per transaction – while giving Sassa, for the first time, automated intelligence on all payment activities. Sassa is currently paying approximately 16-million social grant benefits monthly to approximately 9.5-million recipients.Fraud: focus shifts to agency staff Peterson told the committee that, in its fight against fraud, Sassa’s focus had shifted from grant beneficiaries to agency staff members who colluded with beneficiaries and crime syndicates to defraud the system. Against a target of investigating at least 50% of fraud cases identified, she said, 78% of cases identified to date had been investigated, with 98% of suspicious grants verified as valid. “Efforts to clamp down on corruption in specific regions resulted in arrests and convictions of 10 current agency officials, three former agency officials and 15 agents,” Petersen said. “Fifty-two Sassa officials were suspended from duty, 25 dismissed, and seven resigned prior to the completion of their disciplinary cases. The monetary value related to cases finalised amounts to R59.4-million.” Other successes, she said, included the arrest of 50 individuals in the Mahlabathini area within the Ulundi District who were found to be in possession of 127 unregistered Sassa cards, three CPS registration machines and R47 000 in cash. Five of these suspects remain in custody. Petersen said that money lending had also became a focus, with 29 individuals arrested and 1 008 agency cards and R82 156 in cash confiscated. She acknowledged that the implementation of its fraud management strategy was one of the challenges facing Sassa, adding that the agency had had to “close-out some offices due to the number of officials that were implicated in fraudulent activities.” SAnews.gov.za and SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

23 days agoArsenal boss Emery reveals crunch Pepe, Ceballos talks

first_imgArsenal boss Emery reveals crunch Pepe, Ceballos talksby Paul Vegas23 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveArsenal boss Unai Emery is urging Nicolas Pepe to embrace the pressure of being their record signing.Pepe, 24, has struggled to live up to his £72million price tag since his deadline day move from Lille.But Emery is certain that, just like former Gunners idols Thierry Henry and Dennis Bergkamp, Pepe will be a sensation when he eventually comes to terms with the physical demands of the Premier League.He claimed: “Pepe is an amazing player and I am sure that he is going to have a big career here, but he needs time.“For a lot of great Arsenal players, the first month here was not easy, even the first year.“Every player needs time to adapt when they arrive in England but the process with Pepe is going in the direction we expected.“He still needs to get his confidence and to understand better with the other players. But his performances are getting better step by step.“The players are also human beings and they are all working under pressure because we are at a big club with very demanding objectives.“To be selected for Arsenal is a privilege and the pressure that brings is a positive.“I don’t think about how much the club has paid for a player or how much is his salary. For me, the money is not relevant and it is not important.“I was speaking with Pepe and with Dani Ceballos and they say that the intensity of the Premier League has been the biggest change for them.“The Premier League is the strongest competition in the world. Every match has quality players and physical players.“So I am going to work with Pepe and with Ceballos to help them with that adaptation.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

Video: Michigan’s Blake O’Neill Boots 80-Yard Punt vs. Michigan State

first_imgMichigan players down a 80 yard punt by Blake O'Neil.michigan 80 yard puntMichigan’s offense didn’t have much success against Michigan State on its first drive, but the Wolverines were still able to pin the Spartans deep in their own territory after the possession. Why? Punter Blake O’Neill somehow booted an 80-yard punt to flip the field. Check this out:What does an 80-yard punt look like? @umichfootball punter Blake O’Neill show you! Brought to you by @GrubHub. http://t.co/5AJvoTqXKp— Michigan on BTN (@MichiganOnBTN) October 17, 2015Michigan and Michigan State are scoreless near the end of the first quarter.last_img read more

TEN Sends New Aframax Tanker on LongTerm Charter

first_imgzoom Athens-based shipping company Tsakos Energy Navigation (TEN) has taken delivery of the aframax tanker Oslo TS, the seventh in a series of nine tankers built for long-term employment to a European company. Featuring a 1B ice-class notation, the new ship commenced its long-term employment with possible gross revenues in excess of USD 110 million.The two remaining aframaxes under the company’s fifteen-vessel growth program, the Bergen TS and the Stavanger TS are scheduled to be delivered and commence their long term employment in the third and fourth quarter of 2017.With the deliveries of these two vessels, TEN’s current expansion program will reach its conclusion and result in 77% of the fleet in secured contracts with gross revenues of over USD 1.5 billion and average charter duration of 2.5 years.last_img read more

Tony Hawk Stands Up For Skateparks

first_imgAs Tony Hawk’s 10th Annual Stand Up For Skateparks Benefit approaches, tickets are selling fast!SUFS Auction Item – Triumph BonnevilleStand Up for Skateparks is celebrating a decade of raising funds that benefit youth in underprivileged communities, and the event has sold out every year. This year is set to sell out once again, but a few tickets are still available.Tony Hawk’s Stand Up For Skateparks Benefit is presented by SLS Hotel & Casino Las Vegas and will be held on Saturday, October 5, 2013 at Green Acres Estate in Beverly Hills.Guests will enjoy ramp-side access for the Vert Demo with Tony and other skateboarding and BMX icons as they ride Tony’s personal ramp. Confirmed athletes include Tony Hawk, Lizzie Armanto, Mitchie Brusco, Andy Macdonald, Tom Schaar, Elliot Sloan, Kevin Staab, and Coco Zurita. After the Vert Demo, there will be a special live performance by Grammy nominee Modest Mouse at the intimate venue.The family-friendly event also includes activities for all ages, exceptional food and drinks, as well as live and silent auctions for one-of-a-kind items and experiences. This year, the Stand Up For Skateparks auction will feature two unique high-performance luxury vehicles, along with a wide variety of other unique items and experiences. The 1972 Triumph Bonneville is more than a motorcycle, blending sparkling blue-metal flake paint, black trim, and just enough patina to show its authenticity. This hand-built bike can never be duplicated.SUFS Auction Item – LexusAlso, for auction is a transformed 2014 custom Lexus IS 250 F SPORT, customized in a collaboration between Tony Hawk, Lexus and DUB Magazine. DUB Magazine’s world-class customization team added matte black accents, tinted rear tail lights, tinted windows, Borla exhaust, lowering springs, 20″ Dropstars Wheels, 20″ Nitto Tires, a complete Pioneer Sound System, a 10-inch subwoofer in custom truck box, plus many more jaw-dropping features.Los Angeles Lakers fans will not want to miss this one-of-a kind opportunity: Experience a Lakers game like no other with NBA Hall of Famer Bill Walton. This is your chance to see the World Champion Lakers in all their glory with one of basketball’s top commentators, a multiple NBA All Star and MVP, a man tutored by legendary UCLA Coach John Wooden, mentored by Jerry Garcia, The Grateful Dead, Bob Dylan, and Neil Young, and a dedicated humanitarian. The package for four covers everything—Bill and Lori will pick you up and drop you back off—and includes dinner at the exclusive Staples Center restaurant. Watch the pre-game shoot-around/practice and the Lakers Girls preparation; meet the players, coaches and whomever else is there. The package also includes private luxury suite access and great up-close premium arena seats—all with Bill at your side. In addition, Bill has personally donated an amazing framed collector’s piece.Proxy bids are being accepted for Stand Up For Skateparks auction items, including the Triumph motorcycle and 2014 Lexus IS 250 F SPORT. View many of the amazing auction items at www.standupforskateparks.org. To make a proxy bid, contact Lily Schwimmer at (760) 477-2479 or [email protected]“It’s been 10 years, and our event keeps getting bigger and better!” said Tony Hawk. “This year we have a stellar lineup of skaters and a performance by one of my favorite bands, along with incredible auction items. I can’t wait.”This year’s event will be Co-Chaired by Tony Hawk and renowned actor, director, and producer Jon Favreau. Benefit Committee members include Ron Burkle, Chantal and Stephen J. Cloobeck, Patrick Dempsey, Fred Durst, Leeza Gibbons, Bobby Kotick, Jason Lee, Tommy Lee, Chuck Liddell, Howie Mandel, Rodney Mullen, Sam Nazarian, Lyn-Z and Travis Pastrana, Christian Slater, Steve Van Doren, Mark Wahlberg, Lori and Bill Walton, Shaun White, and DJ-Z-Trip.Tony Hawk’s Stand Up For Skateparks is made possible through the generosity and support of SLS Hotel & Casino Las Vegas, Kohl’s, Starkey Hearing Foundation, Activision, Bravo Sports, Dynacraft, HEXbug, Lexus, Nixon, olloclip, SIGG, Sweetwater, The Yucaipa Companies, and RIDE Channel.Individual tickets and ticket packages are still available for the 10th-Annual Tony Hawk’s Stand Up For Skateparks Presented by SLS Hotel & Casino Las Vegas. To purchase tickets, please contact Lily Schwimmer at (760) 477-2479, or to purchase online here.last_img read more